‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Recap: S4E21: “The Return”

This week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the agents have escaped The Framework, but that doesn’t mean that their troubles are over.

Last week ended with everyone (except Mack) escaping from The Framework.  Coulson and May awakened in Ivanov’s underwater base.  They immediately tried to kill the robotic Aida, but thanks to her Darkhold technology efforts, she has shed herself of her robotic coil and now has a real live human body.  She basically enacted her own version of Pinocchio’s fantasy of becoming a real boy.  The new human version of Aida is not a human, she’s an Inhuman.  She immediately grabbed a newly awakened (and confused) Fitz and teleported the both of them to parts unknown.

Coulson says what we all have been thinking all season, “Can we get a break?”  As soon as Aida leaves, in comes Ivanov.  Not just one of him, but multiple robot Ivanov come in.  His deal with Aida was that he would be able to kill the agents once she got herself a human body and he wouldn’t be bound by her robotic programming and capable of enacting his wish to kill them.  We even get to see Coulson use his “Captain America” energy shield against Ivanov during the fight.  However, there are multiple Ivanovs waiting for him and May.

Meanwhile, Ivanov’s forces are after the S.H.I.E.L.D. jet holding Daisy and Jemma.  The ship has used most of its reserve power to keep the two of them in The Framework, so they were in trouble trying to fend off against the Russian forces.  Lucky for them, the newly revived Jemma was able to MacGyver their way out of it.  Also on the plane, Yo-Yo was asking about Mack’s status and Daisy had to tell her that he opted to stay behind in The Framework.  Yo-Yo was angry about this and yelled at Daisy arguing that she should have knocked Mack out and forced him through the doorway to the real world.  Daisy tells her that in The Framework, he didn’t remember her and opted to stay with Hope.  Turns out that Daisy didn’t know about Hope before the Framework ordeal, showing that he and Yo-Yo were close as she knew about his deceased daughter.

In the meantime, Fitz was teleported away by Aida (now calling herself Ophelia).  Now that she is a full-blooded human, she also has free will, feelings, and emotions.  She wants to continue her relationship with Fitz in the real world.  However, he’s going through some major emotional issues having also experienced how evil he was in The Framework.  It’s a lot to process.  Later on, he has a heart to heart with her about why he was so evil in the virtual world.  Because he had his father in the virtual world, and her as Madame Hydra, he basically was Ward and realized he was capable of terrible things.  At the same time, Ophelia is starting to develop empathy.

After dealing with the Ivanov LMDs, Coulson and May’s trouble is just beginning.  Another Ivanov LMD launched a missile at the underwater base and it begins to flood.  Coulson is also trying to decide if he should tell May about the kiss that he had with the LMD May (when he thought it was her).  They had to put it on hold as the base started to flood.  Not only did they have to save themselves, but they also had to figure out a way to save Mack, who was still connected to The Framework.  Lucky for them, Fitz managed to talk about empathy with Ophelia and Fitz were, who teleported in to save Mack and teleport them to the S.H.I.E.L.D. base where she and Fitz were stunned and taken into custody.

As Fitz and Ophelia are having a talk about feelings, empathy, love, and The Framework, he tells her that he’s still in love with Simmons.  Simmons also happened to watch the entire sequence on hidden camera and although she was relieved, Ophelia was not.  There she discovers a new emotion: rage.  At first, she tries to teleport out of the cell, which she cannot, so she then uses a second power: electricity.  All of Hydra’s experiments on Inhumans in The Framework were about giving her their powers and she’s literally unstoppable.  After short-circuiting the cell, she escapes.  At the same time, General Talbot’s forces storm the base.  Remember, the agents were replaced by LMDs earlier in the season and caused all kinds of trouble.  However, with Ophelia on the loose, they had to leave as soon as their members started dropping.

The agents manage to escape the base as well.  As they are on the jet leaving, they discover that Yo-Yo has entered The Framework to try and save Mack, not knowing that she will be hunted by Hydra forces for being an Inhuman.  Ophelia regrouped with Ivanov where she is so angry and plots with him to kill the agents.  Hell hath no fury!  The episode ends showing the S.H.I.E.L.D. base and then the Darkhold portal opens.  Out comes Ghost Rider!

Next week is the season finale where the agents have to take on Ophelia.  Lucky for them, they have Ghost Rider back to even the odds.